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To help find the right questions, we called on three not-yet-married friends who gave some time to thinking about the challenges faced by singles: Lore Ferguson, Paul Maxwell, and the recently engaged Marshall Segal.We ended up with these questions: The Bible commands Christians to marry “in the Lord,” that is, to marry other Christians (1 Corinthians ; 2 Corinthians ).
But then on top of that I think what you celebrate and how you celebrate is important.Because what I have tragically found is that Christian singles hit an area of desperation, particularly young women, and they will go: “Yeah, he is a Christian, he comes to church.” And really what they’re saying is this guy comes to church a couple of times a month, but outside of attending a service, he doesn’t have a real seriousness about growing in his understanding of the Lord, growing in his understanding of the Bible, being a prayerful person, no vivication or mortification that can be spotted, and no one who really knows them enough to speak to the growth in their character.Now practically speaking, this means singles are seeking out people to speak into their lives.I am going to be real cautious about saying there is such a thing as “too fast.” What I would rather ask is this: What’s driving the speed?If mere physical attraction or some kind of emotive, frilly, this-is-the-one weirdness is driving the speed, then, yes.On top of that, my hope would be that young men would seek out older men. The appeal of youthfulness in churches is so heavy and celebrated, and yet I have found, without a good mix of generations, you are going to get lopsided and silly.
And the worst possible thing imaginable in my mind is a bunch of 24-year-olds sitting around talking about life.They are being discipled, whether that be organizationally or organically, whether they are part of a church’s system for discipleship or they just found an older man or an older woman and invited that person to speak into their lives.And I think those pieces are a much safer gauge than whether they highlight passages in their Bible and show up to service every week.So, we want to celebrate marriages at The Village Church.And I want to celebrate women and men who have given themselves over to make disciples, whether they are married or not.What can members of local churches practically do to help godly marriages happen, instead of just telling men, “Man up and get your life together,” and telling women, “Stop waiting around and be active in your singleness?